The common missile defense system of Finland and Estonia will allow “closing” the Gulf of Finland for Russian ships, said the head of the Ministry of Defense of the Baltic Republic 756603154132239.webp 673w” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution : 192dpi)” >
Hanno Pevkur (center) < p>Estonia and Finland are negotiating a joint missile defense system (ABM), Hanno Pevkur, the new Minister of Defense of Estonia, told Iltalehti newspaper.
“We need to unify our coastal defenses. The range of Estonian and Finnish missiles exceeds the width of the Gulf of Finland. This means that we combine our missile defense and share all the information with each other,— said Pevkur.
In his opinion, such a decision would allow “closing” Gulf of Finland for Russian ships. Iltalehti recalls that last year Estonia decided to purchase Israeli Blue Spear anti-ship missiles with a range of 290 km for coastal defense. And the Finnish Navy has Swedish MTO 85M anti-ship missiles with a range of more than 100 km.
And when Finland and Sweden decided to join the alliance, the Baltic Sea became an “inland sea”; NATO, Pevkur noted. According to him, when these countries enter the bloc, “the situation that exists today will change.”
Pevkur became head of the Estonian Ministry of Defense in mid-July. Prior to that, in different years he headed the ministries of social affairs, justice and internal affairs. This week, Pevkur, in his new position, visited Finland, where he met with his colleague Antti Koikkonen.
Sweden and Finland announced their intention to join NATO after the start of Russia's special operation in Ukraine, explaining the decision by the changed security situation and emphasizing that it is not directed against Moscow. The protocols on joining the alliance were signed in early July, now all states must ratify the documents— members of NATO.
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The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO would worsen the situation in the Baltic Sea region, which, as a result of the expansion of the alliance, would turn “into an arena, if not of military confrontation, then definitely of military rivalry.” In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the membership of Sweden and Finland in NATO does not bother the country in itself. But these countries must understand that if military contingents and infrastructure are deployed on their territory, then Russia will be forced to respond in a mirror manner and “create the same threats to the territories from which the threats are created.” for her, he said.
Alexey Arbatov, head of the Center for International Security at the IMEMO RAS, believes that so far Finland cannot respond to Estonia's proposal, because Helsinki has not yet joined NATO.
“Then they will be able to decide whether they will do something about it. Maybe they will unite missile defense, maybe not— it's too early to tell. This will not affect Russia in any way. Firstly, missile defense does not fight against missile defense: it would be like a war of trench against trench, after all, we are talking about defensive systems, and missile defense counteracts offensive missiles. Russia has defense systems, in the same Kaliningrad it is very powerful, the second most powerful after Moscow, there is a “dome” over the entire Kaliningrad region that performs a protective function. Maybe Estonia and Finland will create something similar. In response to this, Russia can build up its missile power, although there is no need for this, but such a step cannot be ruled out. In this case, Estonia and Finland will build up missile defense and air defense and require the deployment of American missiles on their territory. With regard to the statement of the Estonian Minister regarding the “closure” of Gulf of Finland for Russian warships, it should be noted that most of our ships in the Baltic Sea are located not on the territory of the Gulf of Finland, but in the same Kaliningrad region. Therefore, such an intention is not entirely clear. In any case, “close” The Gulf of Finland does not make sense for our ships, — Arbatov said in a conversation with RBC.
Military observer Viktor Litovkin believes that the unification of Estonia and Finland is quite possible, it cannot be ruled out that Helsinki will agree.
“But Russia does not have to worry at all about which no action is required. On the contrary, if we react and start doing something in response, then it will be a big economic loss, and it is possible that everything is being started for this: to provoke Russia into some kind of reaction related to financial investments. It makes no sense to answer, and for Russia it means absolutely nothing,»,— said Litovkin.
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